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Fal. You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen, you hear it.

Enter MISTRESS ANNE PAGE, with wine ; MISTRESS FORD

and MISTRESS PAGE following. Page. Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we'll drink within.

[Exit ANNE PAGE. Slen. O heaven! this is mistress Anne Page. Page. How now, mistress Ford ?

Fai. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met: by your leave, good mistress.

[kissing her. Page. Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome : - Come, wo have a hot venison pasty to dinner; come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.

(Exeunt all but SHAL., SLENDER, and Evans. Slen. I had rather than forty shillings I had my book of Songs and Sonnets here:

Enter SIMPLE. How now, Simple! where have you been? I must wait on myself, must I? You have not The Book of Riddles about you, have you?

Sim. Book of Riddles ! why, did you not lend it to Alice Shortcake upon Allhallowmas last, a fortnight afore Michaelmas ?

Shal. Come, coz; come, coz; we stay for you. A word with you, coz: marry this, coz: There is, as 'twere, a tender, a kind of tender, made afar off by Sir Hugh here; - Do you understand me?

Slen. Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable; if it be so, I shall do that that is reason.

Shal. Nay, but understand me.
Slen. So I do, sir.

Eva. Give ear to his motions, master Slender; I will description the matter to you, if you be capacity of it.

Slen. Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says: I pray you, pardon me; he's a justice of peace in his country, simple though I stand here.

Èva. But this is not the question; the question is concerning your marriage.

Shal. Ay, there's the point, sir.

Eva. Marry, is it; the very point of it; to Mistress Anne Page.

Slen. Why, if it be so, I will marry her upon any reasonable demands.

Eva. But can you affection the 'oman? Let us command to know that of your mouth, or of your lips; for divers philosophers hold that the lips is parcel of the mouth; Therefore, precisely, can you carry your good will to the maid?

Shal. Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?

Slen. I hope, sir, — I will do as it shall become one that would do reason.

Eva. Nay, Got's lords and his ladies, you must speak possitable, if you can carry her your desires towards her.

Shal. That you must: Will you, upon good dowry, marry her ?

Slen. I will do a greater thing than that, upon your request, cousin, in any reason.

Shal. Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz; what I do is to pleasure you, coz: Can you love the maid ?

Slen. I will marry her, sir, at your request; but if there be no great love in the beginning, yet heaven may decrease it upon better acquaintance, when we are married, and have more occasion to know one another: I hope upon familiarity will grow more contempt: but if you say, marry her, I will marry her, that I am freely dissolved, and dissolutely.

Eva. It is a fery discretion answer; save the faul is in the 'ort dissolutely: the 'ort is, according to our meaning, resolutely; - his meaning is good.

Shal. Ay, I think my cousin meant well.
Slen. Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la.

Re-enter ANNE PAGE. Shal. Here comes fair mistress Anne: -Would I were young for your sake, mistress Anne!

Anne. The dinner is on the table; my father desires your worships' company.

Shal. I will wait on him, fair mistress Anne!

Eva. Od's plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace.

[Exeunt SHALLow and Sir H. Evans. Anne. Will't please your worship to come in, sir ? Slen. No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very well. Anne. The dinner attends you, sir.

Slen. I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth: Go, sirrah, for all you are my man, go, wait upon my cousin Shallow. [Exit SIMPLE.] A justice of peace sometime may be beholden to his friend for a man :— I keep but three men and a boy yet, till my mother be dead: But what though? yet I live like a poor gentleman born.

Anne. I may not go in without your worship: they will not sit till you come.

Slen. I'faith, I'll eat nothing; I thank you as much as though I did.

Anne. I pray you, sir, walk in.

Slen. I had rather walk here, I thank you: I bruised my shin the other day with playing at sword and dagger with a master of fence, three veneys for a dish of stewed prunes ; and, by my troth, I cannot abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do your dogs bark so? be there bears i' the town?

Anne. I think there are, sir; I heard them talked of.

Slen. I love the sport well; but I shall as soon quarrel at it as any man in England:– You are afraid if you see the bear loose, are you not?

Anne. Ay, indeed, sir.

Slen. That's meat and drink to me, now: I have seen Sackerson loose twenty times; and have taken him by the chain: but, I warrant you, the women have so cried and shrieked at it, that it passed: - but women, indeed, cannot abide 'em; they are very ill-favored, rough things.

Re-enter PAGE. Page. Come, gentle master Slender, come; we stay for you. Slen. I'll eat nothing; I thank you, sir.

Page. By cock and pye, you shall not choose, sir ; come, come.

Slen. Nay, pray you, lead the way.
Page. Come on, sir.
Slen. Mistress Anne, yourself shall go first.
Anne. Not I, sir; pray you, keep on.

Slen. Truly, I will not go first, truly, la : I will not do you that wrong.

Anne. I pray you, sir.

Slen. I'll rather be unmannerly than troublesome : you do yourself wrong, indeed, la.

[Exeunt.

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Enter SIR HUGH EVANS and SIMPLE. Eva. Go your ways, and ask of Doctor Caius' house, which is the way: and there dwells one mistress Quickly, which is in the manner of his nurse, or his dry nurse, or his cook, or his laundry, his washer, and his wringer.

Sim. Well, sir.

Eva. Nay, it is petter yet:-give her this letter; for it is a 'oman that altogether's acquaintance with mistress Anne Page; and the letter is, to desire and require her to solicit your master's desires to mistress Anne Page: I pray you, be gone. I will make an end of my dinner; there's pippins and cheese to come.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III. A Room in the Garter Inn. Enter FALSTAFF, Host, BARDOLPH, NYM, Pistol, and

ROBIN. Fal. Mine host of the Garter,Host. What says my bully-rook ? Speak scholarly, and wisely.

Fal. Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my followers.

Host. Discard, bully Hercules; cashier; let them wag; trot, trot.

Fal. I sit at ten pounds a week.

Host. Thou'rt an emperor, Cæsar, Keisar, and Pheezar. I will entertain Bardolph; he shall draw, he shall tap: said I well, bully Hector ?

Fal. Do so, good mine host.

Host. I have spoke; let him follow: Let me see thee froth, and lime: I am at a word; follow. [Erit Host.

Fal. Bardolph, follow him; a tapster is a good trade: an old cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered serving-man & fresh tapster: Go; adieu. Bard. It is a life that I have desired; I will thrive.

[Exit BARD. Pist. O base Gongarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?

Nym. He was gotten in drink: Is not the humour conceited ? His mind is not heroic, and there's the humour of it.

Fal. I am glad I am so acquit of this tinder-box; his thefts were too open: his filching was like an unskilful singer, he kept not time.

Nym. The good humour is, to steal at a minute's rest.

Pist. Convey, the wise it call: Steal! foh: a fico for the phrase !

Fal. Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels.
Pist. Why, then, let kibes ensue.
Fal. There is no remedy; I must cony-catch; I must shift.
Pist. Young ravens must have food.
Fal. Which of you know Ford of this town?
Pist. I ken the wight; he is of substance good.
Fal. My honest lads, I will tell you what I am about.
Pist. Two yards, and more.

Fal. No quips now, Pistol; indeed I am in the waist two yards about; but I am now about no waste; I am about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make love to Ford's wife; I spy entertainment in her; she discourses, she carves, she gives the leer of invitation: I can construe the action of her familiar style; and the hardest voice of her behavior, to be Englished rightly, is, I am Sir John Falstaff's.

Pist. He hath studied her well, and translated her well; out of honesty into English.

Nym. The anchor is deep; will that humor pass?

Fal. Now, the report goes, she has all the rule of her husband's purse; she hath legions of angels.

Pist. As many devils entertain; and, To her, boy, say I. Nym. The humor rises; it is good; humor me the angels.

Fal. I have writ me here a letter to her: and here another to Page's wife; who even now gave me good eyes too, examined my parts with most judicious eyelids: sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly.

Pist. Then did the sun on dunghill shine.
Nym. I thank thee for that humor.

Fal. O, she did so course o'er my exteriors with such a greedy intention, that the appetite of her eye did seem to scorch me up like a burning-glass! Here's another letter to her: she bears the purse too: she is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty. I will be cheater to them both, and they shall be exchequers to me; they shall be my East and West Indies, and I will trade to them both. Go, bear thou this letter to mistress Page; and thou this to mistress Ford: we will thrive, lads, we will thrive.

Pist. Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become,
And by my side wear steel? then, Lucifer take all!

Nym. I will run no base humor; here, take the humorletter: I will keep the 'havior of reputation.

Fal. Hold, sirrah, [to Rob.] bear you these letters tightly; Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores.Rogues, hence, avaunt! vanish like hailstones, go; Trudge, plod, away, o' the hoof; seek shelter, pack! Falstaff will learn the humor of this age, French thrift, you rogues; myself, and skirted page.

[Exeunt FALSTAFF and ROBIN. Pist. Let vultures gripe thy guts! for gourd and fullam

holds,
And high and low beguile the rich and poor :
Tester I'll have in pouch, when thou shalt lack,
Base Phrygian Turk!

Nym. I have operations in my head, which be humors of revenge.

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